Monday, October 15, 2012

U is for Unshockable Hans!

I just have to share a completely brilliant piece of work I've just seen via Twitter! AlphaBooks is a project to draw fictional characters starting from A and running through to Z. I'm thrilled to say that to represent U, artist Andrew Neal has done a fabulous portrait of Unshockable Hans, the hero of my first novel, The Vanishing of Katharina Linden. You can see it here:
Funnily enough, my original working title for the book was Unshockable Hans, and as you can see from the Spanish book cover shown in the above link, the name was in fact used in Spain although not elsewhere. I have always felt that Hans is the real hero of the book. To me he embodies the town of Bad M√ľnstereifel, my home for seven years and the setting for two of my books. Hans is bold, forthright, afraid of nothing, big-hearted and very Catholic!
Big thanks to Andrew!!


  1. Hi Helen, I just wanted to thank you for visiting and commenting on my little blog. It was completely unexpected and a really nice surprise.

    As I commented in my post, I think that the spanish title and also the spanish cover are more well-suited than the english one (I specially like that cover).

    I agree with you, Hans is the real hero. It's funny hearing from you that it was your original working title.

    One question: Do you know spanish or did you use a translator? Whether this is marketing strategy or whether it's something you usually do, I insist: it was really nice receiving your visit.

  2. Hi! You are most welcome.

    I know a very little Spanish...we lived in Spain for 5 months in 1998. I didn't translate the book - the Spanish publisher organised that. I think it is normal for publishers to do that. My German is pretty fluent but I didn't translate the book for the German edition either! It's a highly skilled task and also it takes a lot of time - I am always busy writing my next book!

    I was really thrilled at how well the book was received in Spanish-speaking countries. Maybe it's a cultural thing, I don't know, but somehow the readers seem to understand my book really well!

    Very best wishes